Cake designed the Swedish edition of the electric motorcycle design that starts in the dirt.
The debut of Stockholm-based mobility startup Kalk OR is a 150-pound, battery-powered two-wheeler designed for agile off-road driving and available in a street-legal version.
Cakes lime has a minimalist stance and is not reminiscent of "motorcycle" in the traditional sense.
According to the company's CEO, Stefan Ytterborn, a design lover and series founder who was more of a mountain biker and skier than a motorcyclist, this was the intention before Cake and his two sons Karl and Nils came onto the market.
"I wasn't a motorcycle freak … I actually learned how to ride a motorcycle," he said on his foray into the store.
Ytterborn has worked in design development throughout his career and left Sweden in his early days to Milan to develop product lines for IKEA in the 90s and establishment of several design-oriented companies over the years.
His last company – the outdoor sporting goods company POC – provided Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller and the US ski team with helmets and optics before it was taken over by Investcorp in 2015 for a reported $ 65 million.
Ytterborn's current company has some similarities to POC, namely the development of products for natural forward movement outdoors.
The direction for Cake – according to the founder – was to design a motorcycle from a clean slate, taking advantage of the tension power for the mold.
"I was thrilled with the idea of what an electric powertrain could bring," Ytterborn told theinformationsuperhighway . “But then it became clear to me that nobody really optimized the powertrain's performance. Everyone is trying to mimic what the combustion engine is doing, ”he said.
One of the first things Ytterborn took from this point of view was to develop a lighter platform with a better performance-to-weight ratio.
A characteristic feature of most e-moto offerings, including the few that are geared towards off-road use, is that they are heavier than gas motorcycles. Even Zero’s FX, one of the lightest options for road and dirt applications, weighs almost 100 pounds more than Cakes Kalk OR.
The $ 13,000 Swedish electric motorcycle has a 2.6 kWh battery, charges 80% in an hour and a half from a standard outlet, and offers up to three hours of off-road driving time, according to Cake. The lime has 30 ft-lbs of torque and a top speed of 50 mph.
The Lime & road approval version has similar specifications with a mixed city and highway range of 53 miles. Both offer the ability to change batteries quickly and a second battery costs $ 3,000.
Cake introduced another model in 2020, the $ 8,500 Ösa +, which characterizes the company as an urban utility with off-road capabilities.
As a startup, Cake raised $ 20 million at VC, including a $ 14 million Series A round of financing led by e.ventures and Creandum in 2019.
The United States is a major market for the company. Cake has a subsidiary in Park City, Utah, a U.S. representative – Zach Clayton – and is ready to open a sales store in New York City this quarter.
The company has sold 300 motorcycles in the United States this year and, according to the CEO, America accounts for 60% of its sales market.
Where the cake fits in the motorcycle market: "We are much more Patagonia as Kawasaki, ”said Ytterborn.
He described Cake as something designed for a world far removed from static mobility, in which everything is redefined how people move from A to B, including the concept of the motorcycle.
This involves creating something that captures the amusement of off-road driving for an environmentally conscious market segment that is put off by the noise and fumes of gas motocross motorcycles.
"What really got me going was the intuition that we could turn the market (with lime) upside down," said Ytterborn.
"It's quiet, it doesn't bother, it doesn't pollute, and it's the opposite of what non-motorcyclists associate with motorcycles," he said.
The US motorcycle market could use some fresh ideas as it has been in pretty bad shape since the last recession, especially among young people. New sales declined by around 50% in 2008 – with a sharp decline in property among everyone under 40 – and have never recovered.
At least one of the major gas manufacturers – Harley Davidson – and several EV startups such as Zero offer electric motorcycles to convert gas drivers to electric and to attract a younger generation to motorcycling.
It is noteworthy that Harley Davidson acquired a young electric scooter manufacturer, Stacyc, in 2019 and is committed to making e-scooters and e-mountain bikes as part of its EV pivot. The strategy is to use these platforms to create a new bridge for young people to motorcycles in the on-demand mobility world.
HD's movements could give an insight into where Cake could fit in this room. On the one hand, the start-up's models could become premium electric motorcycles for the environmentally friendly Outside Magazine and the action sports audience. On the other hand, Cake could fill a new segment in the mobility product line – somewhere between e-scooters, e-bikes and traditional motorcycles.
"We want to create a new category in which people with an active lifestyle, whether they are motorcyclists or not, can act with sustainability, responsibility and respect," said CEO Stefan Ytterborn.
The price and performance points of Cake compared to the competition could be a challenge for this thesis. Zero Motorcycle's FX is heavier than the $ 13,000 lime, but starts at $ 8,995 and reaches a top speed of 85 mph.